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Democracy needs support from non-democratic forces: Sardar Akhtar Mengal

27 September, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: President of his own faction of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) Sardar Akhtar Mengal has said that disunity among politicians has taken the country to “controlled democracy”, regretting that in Pakistan “democracy (always) needs support from non-democratic forces”.

Taking part in the budget debate in the National Assembly here on Wednesday, he said the details of foreign assets of retired judges, army generals and bureaucrats should be made public. He also called for disclosing the details of their citizenship status so that the nation could know as to which nationality they had acqui­red after their retirement.

“You will find no retired general talking against his colleague. No bureaucrat will ever present any evidence against his colleague. But we the politicians always remain active in maligning each other,” he said.

Mr Mengal, whose party is supporting the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), said they would keep on witnessing rigged elections after every five years if the elected representatives did not get powers to formulate foreign policy and not bring “controlled democracy” under their control.

In his hard-hitting speech but in a soft tone, the BNP chief also demanded that the government “open” and present the agreements regarding the development of Gwadar before parliament for a debate. He said nobody knew if these projects would be carried out through investments or loans.

“If these are investments, then what will be the equity and what benefits the local people will gain? If these are loans, then who will pay them back? What is the share of the people of Gwadar in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)? Why Gwadar agreements are being kept secret?” he asked.

“Every government uses the Balochistan card to safeguard its own interests. Regretfully, the rulers of Pakistan do not even know about the geography of Balochistan,” he said while highlighting the sufferings of the people of the country’s largest and most backward province.

He said the province was only getting 600MW electricity against its need of 1,800MW. He claimed that there was no power project under the CPEC for Balochistan. “We are declaring Gwadar an international city whereas its residents do not even have drinking water.”

Mr Mengal warned against massive influx of foreigners in Gwadar, saying there was no check on their movement and activities. He alleged that Chinese were busy in extracting gold, silver and copper from the province and there was no mechanism to monitor and check the quantities of the extracted minerals. “We have closed our eyes and given everything in the hands of the Chinese,” he alleged.

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